A Texas killer who murdered four, including a woman who was nine months pregnant, used his last words to condemn their execution as an injustice.
Arthur Brown Jr., 52, received a lethal injection Thursday night at Huntsville State Penitentiary.
“What is happening here tonight is not justice,” he said. It’s the murder of another innocent man.
Brown received the death penalty more than three decades ago for the 1992 murders of four people in a fatal drug robbery gone wrong.
Arthur Brown Jr., pictured, used his last words to condemn his execution as an injustice, calling himself an “innocent man.”
Pictured left to right: The killer was convicted of the brutal murders of Jessica Quiñones, 19, José Tovar, 32, Frank Farias, 17, and Audrey Brown, 21
Authorities say Brown was a member of a drug ring that transported narcotics from Texas to Alabama.
While visiting the home of a married couple who supplied the gang with drugs, Brown and his accomplices shot and killed four people while searching the property.
After tying up the residents, they shot to death José Tovar, 32, his wife’s son, Frank Farias, 17, neighbor Audrey Brown, 21, and Jessica Quiñones, 19, who at the time she was nine months pregnant.
José Tovar’s wife, Rachel, and another occupant were also shot in the horrific incident, but survived.
“I don’t see how someone could have killed a pregnant woman and then made her suffer so much,” Quiñones’ older sister, Maricella, said before the execution.
‘It’s just beyond words.’
Brown’s lawyers tried to delay his execution at the last minute, arguing that he should be exempt from the death penalty because he has an intellectual disability, a claim that prosecutors dispute.
‘Mister. Brown’s intellectual limitations were known to his friends and family,” the killer’s lawyers wrote in his petition.
‘People who knew Mr. Brown throughout his life have consistently described him as ‘slow’.’
The US Supreme Court, which previously ruled that people with intellectual disabilities cannot be executed, rejected the appeal on Thursday.
He reportedly took two deep breaths as a lethal dose of the sedative pentobarbital was injected into his system, before he promptly began snoring.
Brown was pronounced dead at 6:37 p.m., 17 minutes after he was administered the drug.
Brown was executed Thursday night at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas, pictured
The killer was part of a lawsuit alleging that the Texas prison system is using expired execution drugs in its lethal injections. Pictured: The execution chamber at Huntsville Penitentiary
He was convicted of the 1992 murders of four people in a fatal drug robbery.
Brown was the second death row inmate to be executed this week in Texas, just days after Gary Green, 51, pictured, received a lethal injection for double murders in 2009.
The inmate’s lawyers had also previously filed several other unsuccessful appeals in lower courts, including a claim that his conviction was tainted by a racist jury.
Two days before he was to be given the lethal injection, a Houston judge denied a request for DNA testing that Brown’s lawyers said would exonerate him of the murders.
However, Josh Reiss, who heads the Post-Conviction Record Division for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Houston, called the last-minute appeals merely a delaying tactic to prolong his life.
“It was an absolutely brutal mass murder,” he said. ‘These families deserve justice.’
Reiss argued that school records, which were shown at Brown’s trial, reveal that the convicted murderer was only believed to have an intellectual disability in the third grade, but that was no longer the case by the time he reached the ninth grade.
In the years leading up to his execution, Brown long argued that another gang member had committed the murders.
But Reiss also claims that the other suspected killer was found not to be in Houston at the time of the murders.
One of Brown’s accomplices, Marion Dudley, was executed in 2006 for the shooting, while a third is serving a life sentence in prison.
Brown was one of six Texas death row inmates to join a lawsuit against the state’s prison system, alleging it uses expired execution drugs in lethal injections.
The lawsuit alleges that authorities are extending the expiration dates of its lethal injection drugs due to a lack of pharmacies willing to produce them.
Prison officials deny the lawsuits’ claims that expired drugs make their execution more painful and say the state’s drug supply is safe.
Since then, five of the inmates involved in the lawsuit have been executed, as the litigation progresses through the courts.
Brown was the fifth inmate to be executed in Texas this year and the ninth in the United States.
His lethal injection on Thursday was also the second in Texas this week, following the death of murderer Gary Green, who was also part of the lawsuit.